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A recent LinkedIn post from the HAPPO – Help A PR Pro Out group (great group for those interested in or employed in Public Relations) reiterated that not all job applicants are well versed in the skillful follow-up from the application. Most people know to send at minimum a thank you note after an interview, but what about before the interview?

Instead of just waiting after applying, find a way to follow-up. The key to this is knowing who you sent your application to. Find a name, email address and phone number. Email is the best option, but if you only have a phone number that will do.

A good rule of thumb, as indicated in the HAPPO post reply, is to wait a week. That means a full seven days. If the job posting says no phone calls, follow that directive and send an email instead. If it strictly says no follow ups, find another reason to contact the person, such as a recently published article relevant to the position. There is a fine line between assertive and over the top. Don’t be over the top.

This article from US News suggests the easiest way to not be over the top is to find a way to reiterate your interest without being annoying. The example the article shares is, “I submitted my application for your __ position last week, and I just wanted to make sure my materials were received. I also want to reiterate my interest in the position; I think it might be a great match, and I’d love to talk with you about it when you’re ready to begin scheduling interviews.”

Don’t demand an immediate response, the article advises. How do you follow-up on applications?

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Most of us are taught by our parents and teachers to think for ourselves. Many of us are taught to question when requests are illegal, impractical or illogical. No one explains that when you enter the work force, you ought to throw most of that advice out the window. You need to show you can follow directions and that you meet minimum qualifications.

During the application process, you will likely jump through more hoops than you ever could have imagined. Yes, you do have to fill out the same piece of information three times, in three different places. Yes, you do have to include your high school education information even if you graduated 20 years ago if the form requires it. It’s frustrating, but if you want the job necessary. Getting angry over the hurdles or defiant about the process reflects poorly on the applicant.

I’d like to think that all these hoops are to make sure you can follow directions. That you’re a good candidate who won’t question the status quo. That you aren’t lying. But the reality is an application, interview and subsequent tests are the only ways employers have to gauge whether or not you would be a good fit or would steal all the office equipment. They are trying to look out for the company.

Just grin and bear it. Hopefully, you’ll land an interview and can show the company you have the skills they require, are friendly and truly want to work for them. Good luck!

About Aurora

My father named me after Sleeping Beauty. The princess theme stuck. Unfortunately, the only castle I can claim is the one in Disney Land. These are the musings of a princess without minions, knights or fairy tales. I have to do my own bidding.

The views in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or clients.

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